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Old 06-16-2014, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Poorest Man's Longbow Ion *OR* fun with a RAP-4 20-round springfeed.

So here's my recent project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re9tlWtuUbo





I'd thought about picking up magfed play once in a while but my only experience with a magazine-fed gun (A T8.1) soured me to idea of having to juggle magazines, especially high-capacity ones. Plus, a bottomline HPA tank is a must-have for me, so I was attracted to the idea of making my own.
RAP-4 has been selling an interesting-looking and low-priced 20-round magazine for their T68 pistol for years, and I'd seen a few people manage to custom mount these to various guns, so I figured it might be worth a try for the build. After all, it's nearly impossible to find suitable spring and aluminum tube for springfeed builds these days. I bit the bullet and ordered the feed without any idea of how I was going to fit it to any of my guns.

The lethal T68 Firestorm Pistol 20 Round Magazine



The RAP-4 springfeed is kind of a weird gadget- in order to facilitate quick changes, probably for the 10-round version their pistol comes with, the magazine is retained by two springloaded pins that run perpendicular to the direction of feed. On their pistol, a pair of hooked channels grasp these pins. I wasn't wild about trying to rig up my own system of locking on that way, but I did find that with the pins and springs removed, the round housing for the locking mechanism makes the feed sit rather nicely on a bare Ion body and the two lines of contact minimize side-to-side play. All I had to do to get it to meet with the body (in this case an old shaved-down GxG body with an offset sight rail I added) is shave off some plastic on the sides of the feedneck channel and to square off the rear of the channel. I was careful to only shave off enough plastic so that the magazine, when pushed all the way back, would be perfectly aligned over the feedport.



The next problem I encountered is that for whatever reason, the plastic feedplug my magazine came with doesn't seem to want to feed paint. No matter which way it's turned, the powerfeed ramp on the plug is too mild to coax paint out the port at the bottom, which causes the paint stack to jam and bind. So, I ditched it and made a new feedplug from a rubber bottle stopper, with its interior carved with a knife to facilitate proper feeding. Once I had this working right and aligned properly, I epoxyed the stopper in place to keep it from getting pushed further in or rotated out of alighment.



I had seen other people successfully modify these PT-style springfeed magazines to be front-loading, and I'm used to the ease of reloading my Phantom VSC, so I tried my hand at modifying this magazine in a similar way. I drilled and dremeled a new feedport just aft of the forward locking point of the follower. No such luck. Neither kinking the spring nor drilling out the front cap of the magazine and putting a spring guide inside the follower would keep the over 2-foot-long drive spring from jumping out of the port at multiple points.



I thought I had ruined the whole magazine, but fortunately I was able to cure the damage by making a patch out of a small segment of ABS wire conduit pipe. This progressed into a pair of stabilizing slip-on brackets for the magazine, which proved to be a much better solution because I was able to make the forward bracket so that it wants to stop right as the feedport is closed, so it should be a lot easier to operate in the heat of a game.







The correct spacing was critical with these, and I made them by zip-tying the feed to the body with the barrel on, snapping/sliding on the segments of ABS pipe onto the feed and barrel, then laying a small segment of plastic rod between the two segments and epoxying the heck out of it. Then, the same was done for the other side. In this way, I had a pair of plastic brackets that were flexible enough to fit over the barrel/magazine and were the perfect spacing to make everything work properly.



So there you have it. I've put about 100 rounds through it so far and it seems to work fine and be surprisingly easy to load.I just have to remember to retract the follower before opening the feedgate to reload or else the spring is going to jump out, rendering the gun unable to fire. Capacity when fully loaded is 22 balls.

I had thought about picking up a GoG eNMEy to take the magazine instead, but I really like the way the Ion's eyes prevent it from simply dryfiring when the magazine has been emptied. The gun already had Tech-T fly-on spring-loaded detents, so double-feeds haven't been a problem, and it magazine seems to keep up with the gun's top speed. Switching back to hopper-feed takes only about 15 seconds; all you have to do is cut the zip-tie and slide the magazine a few inches forward so that it unlocks from the barrel. Screw the Q-lock back on and it's ready to be a "normal" electro again.
While the Magazine comes with rear sight blades milled into it, there's no front sight bead at all, so I've tried taping a small bit of Lego fiber pipe to it, though I'm more used to my BSA dot sight.

I'm pretty excited to give this thing some play. It should be an absolute riot to use.




Last edited by The Inflicted; 07-09-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sam...thats pretty creative..cool beans..
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is going to sound funny when I say it this way but.......I'l let everyone know how well it works Saturday after we play a few games and he shoots me with it, which Inf. may make a post during another game like he did 2 weeks ago.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Stilgar on here made one very similar to this for use as a longbow mag of sorts. With some sanding and cutting it will fit over a Tac One body pretty nicely. At about half the cost of a longbow mag, it is a great idea as long as you don't mind doing a little work. Consequently, my friend bought the mag Stilgar made so I will see if I can get him to post a pic also.

Great project! If/when I can find those mags cheap I plan on making spare longbow mags for myself.

Nicely done, sir!
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice! With the availability of the longbow mags being at precisely nil, this is a breath of fresh air. I may have to order one to see if I can get it to mount to a picatinny rail with a scope mount or something.......
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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well, THAT was a coincidence, that's exactly what I'm doing
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ideally, this would be something that GoG eNMEy users could try, since the magazine should fit nicely on a GoG body without modification there as well. You would just need something to retain the ball detents.

The only thing that makes me nervous here is that I'm not sure how durable the pipe brackets I've made are going to be. I've got a steel/aluminum tactical flashlight mounting bracket in the mail from Amazon I'm going to try and see if it's useful for mounting the magazine more securely.... and to other guns...
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The only thing that makes me nervous here is that I'm not sure how durable the pipe brackets I've made are going to be. I've got a steel/aluminum tactical flashlight mounting bracket in the mail from Amazon I'm going to try and see if it's useful for mounting the magazine more securely.... and to other guns...
The thing I like about PVC is that it won't scratch your anno. I built that whole over-under Trracer-poo out of PVC, and while I don't throw it against walls or down stairs, I haven't had a single piece break. If you're concerned about strength, I'd just make longer and meatier pipe brackets and forget about it! Even if they do eventually break (I personally doubt they will), they were what, 50 cents worth of plastic?

Great build!
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's awesome! Nice job!
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The thing I like about PVC is that it won't scratch your anno. I built that whole over-under Trracer-poo out of PVC, and while I don't throw it against walls or down stairs, I haven't had a single piece break. If you're concerned about strength, I'd just make longer and meatier pipe brackets and forget about it! Even if they do eventually break (I personally doubt they will), they were what, 50 cents worth of plastic?

Great build!
Longer is a good idea. I bet that would stop the two tubes from twisting.
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